BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek City Council heard continued public input related to a proposed drug treatment facility in the city Monday evening. Several individuals spoke in favor of the proposed TCN Behavioral Health Services facility on Grange Hall Road, while those in opposition to the plan classified the issue as purely one of zoning.
Extended public input came after TCN proposed to rezone the property at 1400 Grange Hall Road from “I-1 Light Industrial” to “RP-1 Research Park District” so it could could conduct behavioral health and treatment services at the site. The non-profit is currently considering a move to the site.
The input came after several representatives of nearby businesses, as well as parents of children who attend a school across the street from the building, spoke in opposition to the facility at the Feb. 8 city council meeting. Those opposing the facility have spoken largely with the same message, offering words of support of TCN and its mission, but elsewhere, citing safety concerns.
Several individuals responded in favor of the facility Monday and focused on the need for such a center.
“One in five people suffer from mental illness in the United States,” said Beavercreek resident Danielle Lang. “I have read the opposing side of the debate, and it all boils down to, ‘We don’t want it in our backyard.’ Well, here’s the thing: It is in our backyard. It lives in your homes, your schools and your community. … Mental health and substance abuse can affect anyone, regardless of race, socioeconomic status or municipality.”
“We’re good neighbors,” TCN CEO Lynn West told council Monday. “I think you would see that if you gave us the opportunity.”
Some opposition voices pointed to the city zoning code, which would allow medical laboratory services and medical research laboratories under the RP-1 designation, but not medical clinics with outpatient services or drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation clinics, in arguing against the rezoning.
Brian Wright, an attorney representing the owner of one of buildings adjacent to the proposed site, has previously questioned whether the proposed zoning designation would allow for the treatment activities.
“Either the zoning code is going to mean something or it’s not,” he said Monday. “The appendix of the zoning code specifically delineates ‘drug treatment facilities, no overnight stays,’ as not being appropriate in Research Park 1 or I-1 Light Industrial. Those need to be in business zone or office zoned facilities. … There are plenty of other places that are property zoned as businesses or offices where this facility would be more appropriate.”
City staff reported to council previously that the facility would fit under a RP-1 “professional services” designation. Council member Brian Jarvis said the rezoning “might be pushing too far.” Council member Chad Whilding acknowledged that there was some “grayness” in deciding which zoning designation TCN’s counseling services would fit under.
“No matter where this goes, we want you in Beavercreek,” Whilding said to TCN representatives. “We need you in Beavercreek. If not here, I hope there’s somewhere else that’s available.”
The rezoning ordinance moved to a third reading at council’s next meeting March 14, when council members will decide whether or not to allow the rezoning.
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.